giddy up y’all

8354078628_a14b5dec48_bSigh….do people really think that what they write on the Internet is private?  And when they yickety yack no one will dish on them?

And I so love (yes love) when I am referred to by those who just ummm…doth protesteth too much.

Here’s the 411: I did not go looking for irregularities in horse rescue.  I am not rescuing a horse, have never rescued a horse, no longer ride. This all started because of strange postings on Craig’s List.  Not really knowing many in the horse community, I had no idea how this issue would literally explode.  I still have no clue who put up those Craig’s List postings.  But whomever they are, they exposed a seedy underbelly.

All these people rolled up and started commenting.  Apparently this is a HUGE issue in the racing and horse community.  Once Pandora’s stall was opened more stuff was found on the internet and more and more people left comments.

This is not an advertised blog.  Yet here are all these people caring about the same thing.

So it ends up this horse hurricane is centered around a non-profit called Turning For Home and as I understand it a woman who helps dole out these horses leaving the professional life named Barbara Luna?  As I have come to understand it based upon the MANY MANY comments of others left on these posts she works with horse rescues?  The one that piqued my curiosity, was the one that kept cropping up as a topic on those Craig’s List ads was Off The Track Rescue run by a woman named Jessica Basciano .  Until the Craig’s List ads I had never heard about ANY of this.

OTTBOff The Track Rescue unless someone can tell me differently does not appear to be a non-profit or even a formerly formed business, does it? Can anyone find anything other than a fictitious name registration?  Note, that is nothing illegal, but most rescues I know of are non profits so they can accept donations for which people get a tax write off and so they can apply for grants.  Because why? Rescue is EXPENSIVE.   Comments on these posts from people involved with this Jessica and from Jessica herself seem to indicate that the Barbara Luna seems to give like an allowance per horse she places with them?  Is that enough money and quite honestly without a non-profit status or falling under the umbrella of another non-profit isn’t that a taxable nightmare?

Anyway, the fur has been flying since I first mentioned funky Craig’s List ads.   Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.  Some of the comments left by those PRO-rescue can indeed be interpreted as harassing or threatening and the tales of what 8354078868_5d2d47b3dc_bhappens when the horse sets complain about this rescue is a little odd isn’t it?

And also odd the Where’s Waldo of it all as far as locations of this rescue.  They say Glenmoore, but then there are also references to Phoenixville and Oxford and then lots of refuting a couple of the locations like they don’t exist but people see these rescue horses in these fields so what is up with that?

And then there is the chatter between some of this crew on Facebook after they read things here and comment.  And they do things LOL like refer to “that blogger” and “everyone who thinks they are a writer”.  (Oh honies, silly youse gals, I am a writer)

Yes, if I perceive something as a threat, harassment, or anything else I will indeed publish the name, e-mail addy and I.P. address publicly.  Duh. It’s my blog and maybe in the further reaches of Chester County bullying and harassment is ok, but not where I live.  And I want it to be clear who is saying what.  This is all something very ordinary, and if they were talking to a reporter in traditional media do they seriously think they would all be unnamed sources? And who the heck is making them verbally regurgitate all over the Internet?

I said it before, will repeat it again:  if everyone is on the up and up and all these horses have a proper paper trail in and OUT of state – if they all have tattoos that match those coggins things (never knew what that was until this started), if all the prospective homes for these horses have been properly vetted like they do for other animal rescues, if ALL the vet records are made available for prospective families and those who have already adopted horses, why fuss?  If it is all on the up and up, no worries necessary, right?

But is all the right stuff happening or just more questions and layers and layers of innuendo and comments I sure as hell didn’t seek out? And there are so many questions now that yes, the traditional media is looking at all of this as I understand it.  Apparently what happens to horse once they leave race tracks is somewhat of a hot button topic across the country, isn’t it?

Also at issue here for me is what this group called LAPS actually does. After all if they actually did their job would there be so many darn comments on horse rescue???? And what about this Barbara Luna and Turning for Home?? Of all people, she can explain what the heck is going on.  She can definitively state what horse went where, what monies went with, what records went with and one would also think she would know the ultimate destination of these large, expensive animals, right?

Lurking media?  Please cover this and settle this issue once and for all.  I am tired of much ado about horse rescue. And yes, if I think of something as being menacing, threatening, or harassing, I will post a comment in its entirety including e-mail and IP addresses.   Truthfully I can do that with ANY comment.

(To avoid any belly aching about the screen shots from Facebook, if you don’t have your privacy settings on and the little globe is showing, it means you are showing these posts to the world. )

If nothing bad is happening, then the record will be corrected, but posturing is not proof is it? So when this gets back to being about the horses, let me know ok?

At the end of the day people, I did not originate this topic.  It was out there with plenty of stuff publicly available. But hey, I am just a ninny, right? So what do I know?
I see this as a made for Lifetime TV Moment of Truth Movie some day there is so much yackety yak…..

wading into a potential manure pile

not snapped to anyone’s lead line

groundhog day came early…

horsegate…oh, the drama!

the funny thing about asking questions about  horse rescue…

the funny thing about asking questions about horse rescue…

This is a happy horse I photographed this summer as it was playing with it's handler while getting a bath

This is a happy horse I photographed this summer as it was playing with it’s handler while getting a bath

……The funny thing is this….a lot of people are talking.  And yesterday I found a fresh ad on Craigslist dated 12/1/2012 so I tweeted it out at a couple folks on twitter to ask if THEY knew what was up and was there anything to this whole drama unfolding in Glenmoore. Funny thing is by this morning the ad had disappeared.

However, I found yet more ads today, dated 12/2/2012 and here is a screen shot:


So I am going to ask again if there is something to all of this? I do not know much about running ads on Craigslist other than whomever it is has a serious enough issue to keep doing this, so is this indeed a case of where there is smoke there is fire?

Is it time for people other than LAPS to not only do a throrough inspection of this place (or places because if it is a rescue there could be a couple locations where rescued critters are, right?) and check out where these horses are coming from, going to, vet records, reputation the vets checking these horse out, etc?? When horses are rescued and then adopted are their rules? Do they stay in Pennsylvania or do the go to lots of other places?

And since I can find no non-profit status on Off the Track Thoroughbred Rescue how do donations work?  I rode a little bit when I was young, and what I learned quickly is horses are expensive.  Proper care is expensive. So if this is an active rescue, how does it function?  Small animal rescues are expensive enough to maintain, so how does this work?  Do they use another non-profit as a pass through kind of arrangement on donations?

They seem to be linked with a horse rescue lady named  Barbara Luna   and a 501(c)(3) non profit called Turning for Home? Now Turning for Home is described on their own website thusly:

tfhTurning For Home

Developed by the PTHA in May, 2008, Turning For Home is Parx Racing’s retirement program for its Thoroughbred horses who can no longer race, due to injury or lack of ability. Our mission is to provide humane and dignified retirement for any horse stabled at Parx with a trainer based at the Bensalem track for at least six months of the year. To date, we have helped over 825 horses into new careers through rehabilitation (including veterinary care and even surgery), then careful adoption to approved-only homes.

So does this rescue pay other rescues to help them out? Do they support the smaller rescues financially ?

I am really trying to to be respectful of the owner of Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue because she is a mom and apparently a cancer survivor too.  So Jessica Troxell Basciano, I don’t know you, am not buying or rescuing a horse, but I would like to know why someone is posting ads on Craigslist about your horse rescue? And is your rescue a non-profit or applied for non-profit?

Are people upset at your rescue unfairly or is there sometihng to this? If you are not a non-profit , what do you get out of this personally? Satisfaction of doing the right thing for at risk horses? A paycheck? The warm and fuzzy aroma of horses in a clean, hay filled barn?  What???

a happy and well fed and cared for barn cat loving life

a happy and well fed and cared for barn cat loving life

I am trying to be fair here, and I found her name on the Internet attached to the name of her rescue and whatever the other name she used to go under is.  She put herself out there publicly with the whole rescue mission.

If she is in over her head because face it, animal rescue is hard, hard, work, she knows she can go to the big ones for help, right?

Honestly, I am just a person that likes horses and believes in animal rescue.  If someone is taking the time to post on Craigslist again and again and again, is there something to all this?

I know from dog and cat rescues that one of the problems in PA is companion animals (which I would also consider horses to be) are property.  Like a sofa or lawn mower, or as a dog rescue pal once said “an ear of corn”.  And the thing I do know about horses is they come with a heck of a lot more paperwork, so horse rescues have to keep meticulous records or should, right?  I also know that horses have to be transported with care, they aren’t like a dog or cat r rabbit that can go in a travel crate in the back of a car exactly are they?

People are very leery of what happens to horses when tracks and big stables, etc are tired of them.  See this article on the Humane Society Website from this past June.  Also check out this post on Throughbred Confidential, and the following links from the New York Times.  The New York Times seems to write a fair bit about horses….

Rescuing Horses as Industry Bides Its Time


Published: November 1, 2012

….Instead, Jones will make and take dozens of phone calls from like-minded thoroughbred advocates on the lookout for former racehorses that have landed at auctions and are en route to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. When they are found, she will call their breeders or former owners in the hope they will send a trailer or some money to help find the horses a safe home.

Some have been horrified to learn of their horses’ fate and have helped immediately. But many more, Jones said, have declined to help at all.

Just two weeks ago, eight horses were discovered in a kill pen in Ohio. One of them had raced 12 days earlier at nearby Thistledown, and another had earned more than $217,000 in his career. Jones mobilized a rescue through her Facebook page…..Slow or injured horses do not stay on an owner’s balance sheet for long, and only a handful of horses possess the rare combination of regal bloodlines and proven talent to assure a career after racing. In 2011, for example, 1,861 stallions covered 35,391 mares in North America.

So where do the other former racehorses go?

Hard numbers are elusive, but 138,000 horses were sent to Canada or Mexico in 2010 to be turned into meat for Europe and other parts of the world, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

Advocacy groups say up to 10 percent may be thoroughbreds.

Bronx Rallies to Save Mysterious Horse Left in a Condemned Stable


Published: September 20, 2012

It has been the Bronx’s own heart-tugging Black Beauty story: a lonely horse desperately in need of rescue.

So began the campaign to save Rusty the horse.

That effort reached a peak on Thursday when a state legislator and more than three dozen residents and animal lovers rallied in front of the run-down stable on Pelham Parkway South. As the news cameras rolled, they waved signs emblazoned with slogans like “Stop Horsin’ Around, Save Rusty.”

But from inside the stable, where the horse remained, there came not so much as a neigh for its own cause.

Four police officers stood guard during the rally to deter anyone from approaching the stable to peek inside.

Rusty is a mystery to even those who want nothing more than to save it. The residents and animal activists at the rally did not know its age, whether it was male or female, or how it came to be living in the stable, which has no posted name but was once known as Bronxbuster.

Even the horse’s name is a question mark — Rusty is a nickname bestowed by neighborhood children because the animal has a reddish-brown coat and “lives in a rusty stall,” said State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, who has emerged as one of the horse’s most vocal advocates.

BreakdownDeath and disarray at America’s racetracks

Big Purses, Sore Horses, and Death

Large payouts to owners make it profitable for owners to field thoroughbreds that are past their prime, sometimes with fatal results.


Published: April 30, 2012    254 Comments

As he trained for his first race, at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the 3-year-old thoroughbred Wes Vegas galloped on the track most mornings and had two timed workouts. But his handlers also prepared him in another way: In the month before the race, records show, he received 10 intravenous injections of potent drugs for pain, one the day before he ran; two injections of a drug for joint disease; corticosteroid injections in his two front ankles; a sedative; and an ulcer drug.

For all the preparation, that first race, on March 3, turned out to be his last.

As he approached the first turn, Wes Vegas broke a leg and had to be euthanized.

A week earlier, another horse, the 4-year-old Coronado Heights, who records show had “early degenerative joint disease,” suffered a fatal breakdown at Aqueduct after receiving 13 injections for pain and cartilage damage in the month before his race.

Since a casino opened at Aqueduct late last year, offering vastly richer prizes, 30 horses have died racing there, a 100 percent increase in the fatality rate over the same period the previous year. Like Wes Vegas and Coronado Heights, many had been injected repeatedly with pain medication in the weeks before their breakdowns, according to a review of veterinary records by The New York Times.

(Read the entire article HERE – they do talk about PA. And read the comments)

Is it getting so bad for these magnificant creatures that every time we see a horse transporter we have to wonder if those are horses going home or off to become dog food or people food in other countries?

I am also interested in horse rescues that people love.  Like Last Chance Ranch in Quakertown, PA.

I think horses are a victim of this current economy just like people and abandoned dogs and cats.

nonprofit or not?

wading into a potential manure pile

So what happens when horses outlive their usefulness?

These videos (top and bottom of post) are disturbing.  What I find even more disturbing are the whispers running around Chester County about a thoroughbred horse rescue.

First there are the notices posted on Craigslist.  There are two current posts on Philadelphia Craigslist, one on Lancaster Craigslist   and I was able to pull up others. They are anonymous which leads me to believe they are from inside the horse community out here and are afraid of retaliation.   I have the hyperlinks of the postings embedded above (in blue) and here is the text of both:

Then there are a couple of posts on a website called The Chronicle of the Horse (again I am providing the hyperlinks and below the text):

So these people are talking about a horse rescue I actually saw and checked out on Facebook because I thought they did good stuff. TB Rescue or Off The Track Thoroughbred Rescue on Fairview Road in Glenmoore.

Now I know horse folks I know will probably be upset that I am asking questions about this, but if people are taking the time to post these things what does that mean exactly? And I believe in animal rescue so I am sure if this is a big misunderstanding this TB Rescue will pop up and leave a comment explaining the situation, right?

However,  If it is a case of where there is smoke there is fire, and there is something to this, I expect they or someone associated with them will threaten me?

Disclaimer: This photo has ABSOLUTELY NO significance. Just a photo of a field. Don’t even remember where it was taken, or if it was PA

But at the end of the day am I accusing and naming names or am I simply asking what the heck is going on? And I assume in this country we are allowed to ask questions? Is this a non-profit? Is it listed on the state non-profit/charities database?

People I know are raising eyebrows about these people so is that right or wrong?  Isn’t there like a big animal SPCA to take care of this? Large Animal Protection or LAPS? Can they help horses or are they like the equivalent of mall cops? And the horses for this rescue come from where? Philly Parx?  What do they have to say? What about their horse rescue and track foundation thing called Turning for Home or whatever?

So here’s hoping this horse rescue steps up and addresses this stuff, right? And I will note to anyone involved with  them that I have no idea who is posting on Craigslist around here, in Lancaster and elsewhere, but obviously whoever they are want answers too, right?  I also have no idea who is posting on the bulletin board I screen shotted.

Maybe the Humane Society has some answers? The Chester County SPCA?  Anyone?

Horses are magnificent and regal creatures.  They are also unbelievably expensive to care for.   I would be interested in answers to my questions.  I just don’t see someone posting all this stuff on Craigslist for fun, do you?

I have no idea what I am wading into here.  But (again) someone needs to provide some answers as none of what I know and even more what I don’t know doesn’t sit right with me if that makes any sense?  I mean with rescues of other (smaller) domestic animals when it comes to rescues there are as many issues as people who have an opinion. But animal rescue large or small is too important not to get some answers, right?

Remember the article last year about horse abuse in Adams County, PA? They talk about After The Races in Glenmoore? Is that the same as Off the Track Throughbread Rescue because when you click on the hyperlink in the Inquirer article that says “Glenmoore” it links back to Off the Track TB rescue and is it just me or is that confusing? Anyway, that article was horrid about what it descirbed – enough to make you ill.

After The Races is on the Equestrian Life Professional Directory:

The address appears to be identical to Off the Track TB Rescue, huh?

Why the name change I wonder?  (All this horse stuff is very confusing to me and I bet it is confusing to the REAL rescue  After the Races which is NOT part of this post or possible issue.)

Because I do not want to do a disservice with my questions, please read this from the REAL “After the Races” which again, isn’t part of this, and is actually pending a non-profit status (something I can’t find on the other people):

So you know why I posted the above disclaimer from the group above, well it is simple.  As a breast cancer survivor of under two years one of the FIRST things I learned was about fake cancer charities.  You would not believe the people that want to take your hard earned money and/or take advantage of people.  Not saying any of that is happening here, but I thought it was fair to make the distinction and you all get that, right?